21.8.06

Humildade

"She appeared in the prettiest of all feminine guises, that is to say, in demi-toilette, with plenty of loose curly hair tumbling down about her shoulders. An expression of uneasiness pervaded her countenance; and altogether she scarcely appeared woman enough for the situation. The visitor removed his hat, and the first words were spoken; Elfride prelusively looking with a deal of interest, not unmixed with surprise, at the person towards whom she was to do the duties of hospitality.
'I am Mr. Smith,' said the stranger in a musical voice.
'I am Miss Swancourt,' said Elfride.
Her constraint was over. The great contrast between the reality she beheld before her, and the dark, taciturn, sharp, elderly man of business who had lurked in her imagination--a man with clothes smelling of city smoke, skin sallow from want of sun, and talk flavoured with epigram--was such a relief to her that Elfride smiled, almost laughed, in the new-comer's face.
"
A pair of blue eyes, Thomas Hardy